Style Essay: How Do Fashion And Pop Culture Collide?
Across the art, music, cinema and fashion worlds, a new release or a bubbling micro-trend can be turned into a pop culture phenomenon at a rate faster than ever before. Cycles of public interest in specific subjects – be they a particular person, a new film, or a clothing item – have always existed and pop culture has always been big business. But the power of new media, particularly social media, has seen these trend cycles become more distinct than ever before. British Vogue cite Cara Delevingne, cover star of their January issue, as ‘the model ‘liked’ into superstardom’, acknowledging the instant global exposure that she has experienced thanks to Twitter sharing. The clothing industry has always thrived on the notion of pop culture and on the principles of fads and trends, but what’s hot is now more visible  than ever before and the discussion is  open for anyone to take part.

Cara, the statement sweatshirt, musicians like Rita Ora, reality stars like Kim Kardashian, even movie franchises like The Hunger Games, are all fragments of today’s pop culture landscape. In September, designers presented their predictions of what women will want to wear come spring – pleated skirts, florals, pastels and painterly prints were all marked as key trends to try. As the hype takes hold and the new products land in stores, their predictions will no doubt be proved right!

The logo mania that reigned supreme in the 90s also returned, as designers plastered their names over their collections using innovative new techniques. Alexander Wang, usually an authority on minimalistic, sportswear-inspired pieces, turned his name into pinstripes, woven subtly across entire garments. DKNY, on the other hand, stamped bold fonts on everything from dresses to raincoats, in a more direct reference to the way we wore the trend the first time around. London-based designer Ashish, gave a street-style twist to other iconic pop symbols, playing with the logos of Coca Cola and Tesco on statement ‘carrier bags’ and t-shirts. While Libertine prints Queen Elizabeth on sweats and skirts, Fay adds Snoopy and Jeremy Scott chooses rainbow stripes.

Many designers also use iconic moments in pop culture history to inspire their modern collections.  Jean Paul Gaultier is a designer who likes his pop references more literal than most (remember last summer’s 80’s tribute, where Michael Jackson, Abba and Madonna were amongst his inspirations?) No discussion of pop culture and fashion would be complete without his input. In his hands, a new season simply meant re-imagining another iconic moment in fashion history. For SS14 he worked Grease Lightning with fabulous flair, as Coco Rocha played a bequiffed Danny to a succession of neckerchief-ed supermodel Sandys.

The full feature was published on Vogue.IT